HONDA SMALL CAR PLANS

Honda plans small car for India

The proposed premium small car from Honda would have a 1.2 litre engine.

25 June, 2007

Small is big, so think the auto majors. As everyone makes a try at the market in this segment, Honda Siel too seems to be thinking on similar lines. The move is said to be prompted by the impressive 25 per cent growth rate in the segment.

A report said that Honda Siel Cars India is planning to enter the small car market in India. The Japanese car maker is studying the segment in India and plans to introduce a car with a sub-1.2-litre engine capacity. The report added that the company is also likely to spring a surprise by unveiling a new model for India altogether.

Honda Siel has said that the vehicle in the pipeline is a premium small car. A time-frame for the launch would be worked out soon. Honda currently sells the Honda City, Civic and the Accord, prime players in the executive sedan, luxury sports and large sedan segments. The car major is already present in the small car segment in Japan and the US. Honda executives said the Indian smal car would not be a variant of any of the existing models, though it could be replicated later in China or even in Europe.

Meanwhile, it is not just Honda who is looking at the small car segment. While Toyota Motor Corp is planning to manufacture small cars for emerging markets, including India, Tata Motors is already working on its Rs 1 lakh small car. Nissan Renault has also unveiling plans for a Rs 1.25-lakh car for the Indian roads, reports pointed out. All said, Maruti remains the largest player in both the overall Indian auto market as well as the small car segment, boasting of a 55 per cent share. Last year, it had sold over 5 lakh small cars out of a total 6.3 lakh sold in the domestic market.